Work-Life Balance: PepsiCo CEO Says It’s a Myth

Is “work-life balance” merely a fantasy for American workers? An increasing number of professionals seem to think so.

Indra Nooyi,
CEO of PepsiCo, recently spoke at the Aspen Ideas Festival regarding the difficulties of being a high-powered executive and a parent. As a professional who habitually works until midnight, Nooyi employs the help of her children’s grandparents to help raise them.

Contrary to the ideal many working mothers strive toward every day, Nooyi doesn’t believe “women can have it all.” She cites the conflicting timelines of career and parenthood, noting the years women spend raising children are the same years during which they must work toward management positions.

Women aren’t the only ones affected by the work-life balance myth. Fathers like Elon Musk of Tesla struggle with how to allocate their time between family and career, sometimes relying on nannies or babysitters to provide most of their children’s upbringing.

In addition to the limitations working parents face at home, they also tend to experience disadvantages at work. Having children inherently means higher living expenses for families, but taking time off to give birth or care for them can result in lost wages. Employers may also show subtle preference towards employees who place higher priorities on their jobs than on their families.

Although increasing numbers of employers are offering more flexible work arrangements to help working parents institute better work-life balance, discrimination based on an employee’s family status including pregnancy still happens. To understand your rights and protect yourself against unlawful practices, familiarize yourself with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and federal, New York state and city laws regarding pregnancy and marital status discrimination.

Should you have questions about your rights or your employer’s responsibilities under state and national law, contact an experienced New York employment law firm such as Joseph & Kirschenbaum LLP at (212) 688-5640 or at info@jhllp.com. Our highly qualified lawyers have a wealth of knowledge regarding employment law, and we can help you determine whether a court case is necessary or feasible.